I’m not a designer, but I do know plenty of them. Being within their circle has kind of inspired me in terms of my design ideology (in the future, this will have a link to my design ideology paper that I wrote in one of my classes – for now, it leads nowhere).
I’m also a sucker for typefaces. I love looking at how beautiful they are, how they are used to be expressive, the various forms they take, etc. I’m sometimes over critical of them, but only because I think it affects how the information is presented.
Reading this article on Seed Magazine opened my eyes regarding typefaces. In the end, the central question is which is better: legible fonts or illegible typefaces?
In two different studies, it has been shown that:
1) clear and legible fonts increase enthusiasm about a subject
2) illegible typefaces increase retention
Personally, when I create handouts, I go with the default typeface – usually some sort of serif. I do this because I want to make sure the message is the most important part of the handout. If I use some other typeface, the message may get lost in the design of it (I tend to overthink my designs).
As students, what do we prefer? For the handout to look nice, or for us to be able to remember what we read?
As educators, what should our goal be when designing our handouts? Increased retention or enthusiasm about the subject?
There must be some happy medium, in which a handout is both clear and legible, but also allows for increased retention. Someone should get on that and design the ultimate typeface. I’ll be sitting here waiting and bitching about it until I see it.
Source: The Revenge of Comic Sans